Do anyone's dc choose their own books?

(24 Posts)
MarianneEnjolras Wed 19-Feb-14 20:48:38

I've noticed a lot of the threads are asking for inspiration for books their dc may like, which is fine obviously smile however I was just wondering if anyone lets their dc get on with choosing their own?

I don't think my parents chose a book for me after the age of 8. My sister and I would go to the library every Friday, take out the maximum number of books allowed each, read them and then swap them with each other. We'd get through them all by the next week and then do it all again. grin

Does anyone do this anymore? Our local library was great, my local one at the moment is not so great so I understand that could be a limitation, however we would also spend hours in Borders or Waterstones picking new books which we would order in to the library if they didn't have them.

Rooble Wed 19-Feb-14 20:53:42

Mine picks his own from library and bookshops (6). Birthdays/Christmas I suggest writers/books if people ask, because I know how competent a reader he is. He willingly reads gifts, is often reluctant to touch my recommendations - I can remember being exactly the same as a child.

Takver Thu 20-Feb-14 09:00:20

I think picking your own does depend on access to somewhere with a reasonable choice of books.

We have a very tiny library, so in any given child's age bracket/reading ability there would maybe be a choice of 15-20 books. Recommendations mean you can order online from the whole county stock.

Our local bookshop is very good considering (town has popn. of 3000) but frankly buying books to keep up with a keen reader isn't really on the cards, and again inevitably they have limited stock.

Having said that dd is now in secondary where they have a very good library and an excellent librarian + staff of older pupils so she doesn't need recommendations in the same way.

Martorana Thu 20-Feb-14 09:06:40

Asking for recommendations always seems to mean "I need to make sure my child doesn't read any books that are ....shock horror perish the thought...too easy for him........I want him to be challenged and stretched and if I let him choose he will read the Match Annual for the 47th time "

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Thu 20-Feb-14 09:11:37

DD does choose her own books at the library, but we end up with a lot of Rainbow Fairies and... is it possible that Jordan wrote a children's book about ponies? I think we had that one too. So occasionally I do like to try and persuade her to take something a bit more worthy.

A bit hypocritical, since I mostly read trashy genre stuff, but that's parenting for you grin

On the other hand, I do remember my mum choosing me a book and being bowled over by it. I just couldn't have known from the cover and the blurb what a marvellous book it was. I was saying "how did you do that, how did you know? Presumably she wasn't on MN, but maybe she read a review!

MarianneEnjolras Thu 20-Feb-14 09:23:56

Interesting. I do remember the last books my mum chose for me - Anne Frank's diary and Black Beauty. She also introduced me to the Beano which I was obsessed with for a few years.

I'm pretty sure my sister and I got through every possible genre including your flowery glittery stuff. I seem to remember a lot of books involving adopting or rescuing animals, and the Sleepover Club series.

As adults we're both more into fantasy (like Game of Thrones NOT Twilighty rubbish!) so the glittery fluffy animal books couldn't have done us much harm. grin

clearsommespace Thu 20-Feb-14 09:28:59

My mum used to recommend books I'd enjoy until she got too ill to concentrate on the radio/read the paper. I was well into my 20s.
She was mostly right. It's one of the things I miss most!

I chose my own books as well of course.

Showy Thu 20-Feb-14 09:33:42

I let dd do a bit of both because she's a precocious reader and has been for years now. She was reading chapter books in reception. When there is a bit of a dichotomy between what she is able to read and what is suitable for her age, occasionally I have to steer her towards something more appropriate. She's 6 and her own choices are always interesting. She picks a lot of non-fiction (particularly kings and queens, myths and ancient history) and really likes comic book style books. Currently obsessed with Asterix. But she also picks things like Pinocchio and Black Beauty. I had a dither in the library on Saturday because she wants to read Goodnight Mister Tom which she could but she's 6. The subject matter in places might be too much. She picked a David Walliams book instead.

fuzzpig Thu 20-Feb-14 09:47:17

I choose books for 6yo DD at the moment and she prefers it that way.

She does choose her school reading book every day (they don't use a scheme as such, they just choose one from the right colour basket). She also picks one from the school library each week which is usually something like rainbow fairies, and she never finishes those.

But when I take her to the public library (I work in a huge one) she just gets totally overwhelmed. There are hundreds on the shelves and of course a huge range of difficulty and genre. So she is happy for me to bring books home for her. I've chosen all the chapter books to read to her at bedtime - mostly ones from my own childhood and a couple of classics. I also bring home books to supplement the school reading books - was getting beginner reader type stuff but now on simple chapter books and non fiction. I do often get books that are slightly more difficult than what she gets at school (she's still a few stages off free reading) but she does get easier ones too if I see something she'd enjoy - it's good for confidence IMO.

She's not quite at the stage of reading a whole chapter book to herself (she tends to dip in and out and prefers drawing in bed hmm) but I think that will change soon and then she might insist on choosing herself, but at the moment she's happy - and so am I as she's getting more range I think. She doesn't tend to enjoy the books she does pick herself as the stories in things like rainbow fairies (and things like story versions of Disney movies) just aren't that interesting or well written. I think there's an element of "I'm supposed to read this because I'm a girl" TBH although that's a whole other thread!

As for buying books - that doesn't really happen due to lack of funds. They choose something very occasionally for example at the school book fair and when they get their world book day voucher for £1 off. I get them lots at Xmas/birthdays, for DD I particularly look for really nice gift editions of chapter books which have really helped encourage her to listen to longer stories. Her birthday isn't til June and I'm already collecting a list of what I might buy her grin (if anyone's interested - colour illustrated editions of Matilda, Brambly Hedge, the Wombles, Alice in Wonderland and Wind in the Willows). I don't tend to buy normal chapter books as we get so many from the library, though I'll pick up the odd decent one from charity shops and I might get a sequel to something she's enjoyed - eg at Xmas I got her a Claude book (Alex T Smith - very funny writer) as she'd loved the first one.

Needless to say because of my job I get to see loads of great books (and a few books that aren't great) and I see what children borrow. I'm in no way qualified, just a bogstandard library assistant, but one of the best bits of my job is when I'm asked for recommendations. grin

Epic waffly post there sorry. blush <slinks away>

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 20-Feb-14 11:03:12

mine are 4 and 6, they choose their own from a selection. They are learning to look at the information on the back and read that, look at the picture on the front, flick through and see what it looks like and make a decision from there HOWEVER I am the one who buys books and so I look for ideas for them. they would tend to pick the same ones all the time or very similar if I didn't give them some different possibilities. As they get older they will get more opportunity to choose their own but at the same time given the content of some of the books nowadays I would probably still be heavily involved to ensure they are choosing things that aren't too grown up for them.

Mine (6 and 4) get let loose in the library on a regular basis, but I tend to help choose some of their books or we'd be there all day!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 20-Feb-14 14:24:04

Mine have always chosen their own. DS would only read Thomas books for years, then moved onto Topsy and a Tim and Thomas.

Dd chooses her own too. I might suggest a book for birthday or Christmas if someone asks, but it's usually the next of a series they have been enjoying.

Very rarely I will take out books for them from the library but most weeks they go there themselves and choose or get me to order them online for them.

maillotjaune Thu 20-Feb-14 16:29:54

A mixture of DSs choose / I choose.

He chooses in school library / local library / when spending tokens.

I choose extra ones - DS1 can never have enough books, DS2 has to be encouraged to read anything other than the A-Z grin so I he them books and ebooks too. This gives them access to a wider range of books. My mum did the same for me.

freetrait Thu 20-Feb-14 22:13:35

We choose things DS might like, but then he chooses and a theme develops. It's Wimpy Kid at the moment. He tends to get obsessed with something before moving on. Not sure how much Wimpy Kid can last as he's read all the books now. He tends to re-read things he likes rather than trying different things though....grin. Read Horrid Henry for about two years.......re-read the Magic Key books a year or more after the first time of reading....strange but true.....

DeWe Fri 21-Feb-14 19:11:35

I doubt any one who is asking for ideas is saying they don't let their child choose. Not sure why you think that.

For my dc they read through books so quickly, (particularly dd1 who doesn't reread, dd2 is easier because she does) that any suggestions for books I haven't thought about or come across. Dd2 can read 20+ books a week at times. That's books like Anne of Green Gables type, not picture books.

It's also about varying what they read. Dd1 likes adventure/mystery, but will be happy to try others if they look interesting.
Dd2 won't try any book that might be "scary". So I sometimes take I book I am sure she'd love, and read her the first chapter, then spend the second chapter with her wresting the book off me so she can finish it herself.
Ds will read anything as long as it's about planes or WWII, and sometimes I offer him something different, which he wouldn't otherwise.

But more of the time they entirely choose themselves. I don't push or suggest at all. For the odd times I do suggest it's great to have others' idea of books not just what I enjoyed.

Retropear Sat 22-Feb-14 16:53:56

I'm always on the lookout for books my dc would like as the more they enjoy them,the more they read and so on.

They lead and I offer.

I've come across loads of brilliant ideas on MN.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 22-Feb-14 16:57:06

I've come across loads of brilliant ideas on MN.. Me too. DS has loved the George trilogy by Lucy Hawkins and Dd is currently rapidly going through Daisy and the trouble with books.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 22-Feb-14 16:58:25

My dd chooses her own books and has done since she first started looking at books.
I am also in addition like Retropear
She has just got book 1 and 2 of the incorrigibles and she seems to like the first one.

We don't go to the library very often, it's out of the way and hasn't got a huge selection, also the DCs tend to want to work their way through series of books so the library can be a bit hit and miss. They also don't like giving them back. They do choose their own, but I also choose and buy books for them.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 22-Feb-14 17:30:02

We do mixture of DS choosing and me too. As a poster above said, it's harder with a reading age in advance of actual age re appropriate themes, language etc, so I keep an eye on the choices but sometimes pick out things I think he would like eg he would never have found Roald Dahl on his own, which would have been a tragedy!

Louise1956 Mon 24-Feb-14 00:06:23

I never tried to tell my sons what to read, but I did choose books to read them when they wanted to be read to at night, I wanted to read things that wouldn't bore me too much. And I occassionally made a suggestion if I found something similar to authors they already liked.

Ilovexmastime Mon 24-Feb-14 00:09:38

Mine choose their own books throughout the year but I choose the ones I buy them for xmas and birthdays. My mum still recommends books to me, and my dad, and my brother, and my friends... doesn't everyone do that?

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Mon 24-Feb-14 00:13:45

We use the library, and also have many books of our own. We generally let the dc choose freely, but I will often suggest books I enjoyed, especially if they are looking for something different - or I want to encourage them to try something different. They sometimes now suggest books to me! I get such a buzz from this grin

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